Socceroos vs Thailand highlights: Australia escape with nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne

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    Australia v Thailand

    AAMI Park, 5 September, 2017

    Australia Full Time Thailand
    2 1
    45 SHOTS 8
    12 SHOTS ON GOAL 1
    17 FOULS 6
    16 CORNERS 2
    0 OFFSIDES 2

    Match result

    They did it the hard way, but the Socceroos picked up the three points against Thailand with a nervy 2-1 win in Melbourne to edge closer to World Cup qualification.

    After going into halftime at 0-0, the Socceroos opened the scoring when Tomi Juric headed home from an Aaron Mooy cross.

    But that lead evaporated eight minutes from full-time when Pokkhao Anan rattled a powerful shot home off the underside of the crossbar to tie things up.

    Thankfully for the home fans, Matthew Leckie snuck home the match-winning goal four minutes later to allow the Socceroos to seal the win.

    Having claimed the three points, Australia will now be sweating on Japan to either draw with or defeat Saudi Arabia. Should the Samurai Blue, who are already qualified for Russia 2018, pick up at least a point against Saudi Arabia, the Socceroos will qualify for next year’s World Cup.

    However if Saudi Arabia win, the Socceroos will finish third in Group B and be forced to go through a series of two-legged playoffs to qualify for the World Cup. The first of those playoffs will be against the third-placed team from Group A, and if they were to win that, they would then face the fourth-placed side from CONCACAF (Central and North America).

    Match preview

    Australia host Thailand at AAMI Park in Melbourne in a crucial FIFA World Cup qualifier. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 8pm (AEST).

    So here we are, the final game of Group B which has so much at stake for Australia. Thailand, on the other hand, will be hoping to regain some sort of pride knowing that even a win will not stop them from finishing rock bottom of the group.

    At the time of kick off in Melbourne, it will be 281 days from the start of the World Cup in Russia and it is still not known if the Socceroos will be there.

    The defeat against Japan has put the pressure well and truly on Ange Postecoglou’s men and a convincing win will be needed to assure themselves the best possible chance of booking their place in Russia.

    Australia will need to come out all guns blazing in this one as this group could very well come down to goal difference. As we stand, the Socceroos are level on points with Saudi Arabia, who are ahead on goal difference but have the much tougher match on paper when they entertain Japan in their final group game.

    The disappointing factor for Postecoglou is that whether they qualify or not is officially out of his team’s hands, but everything will be swept under the carpet for now if they get the win and manage to qualify.

    Nothing really clicked for the Socceroos in Tokyo, from a tactical and personal perspective it was a bad night at the office. The Australian boss has received a lot of criticism in the past few days but sometimes there is not a lot you can do if your key players on the night go missing.

    The ball tempo in midfield will need to be at a higher level than what was seen against Japan, especially if Thailand sit back, which is expected. If selected, the likes of Jackson Irvine and Tom Rogic will need to come to the party and start popping the ball around with some purpose and get it into the striker’s feet a lot quicker than they did against Japan.

    On the team front, it is a massive boost to have Aaron Mooy and Tomi Juric back in the fold, and both players should come into the side and offer some much-needed creativity going forward.

    In Juric, Australia have a target man that can hold the ball up and link play, something which Robbie Kruse struggled to do on Thursday night. That’s no criticism of Kruse, as he clearly isn’t a number nine and was played out of position against Japan.

    Thailand come into the game with nothing but pride to play for but Australia should not take them lightly; a 2-2 draw last November showed that, on their day, they can match it with the best teams in Asia.

    The mood coming out of the Thai camp is a relaxed one and sometimes that can be a dangerous mood to encounter. With all the pressure on Australia, it could give Thailand the freedom to go and express themselves and to enjoy the game.

    Australia will need to keep a close eye on Teerasil Dangda, who has scored three times against the Roos on previous occasions, and also Chanathip Songkrasin, who has recently moved to Japan to play for Consadole Sapporo. With a low centre of gravity and sharp turn of pace, he is someone that will need close attention in Melbourne.

    Does it get any bigger than this? A fourth consecutive World Cup appearance is on the line for the Socceroos, who are playing at home, needing to score goals. Can the players handle the pressure??

    My answer is yes. After the disappointment of the Japan game, I feel Australia have a point to prove and will look to put on a show. They should win this game comfortably. If that is enough remains to be seen, but it should put them in a decent position before the Saudis meet Japan.

    Australia 3-0

    Player to watch
    The Japan game highlighted how important Aaron Mooy is to Australia at the moment. They will be looking for him to grab this game by the scruff of the neck and drive the team forward with his clever passing.

    He’s always a big influence from set pieces as well, so should have a big say on how this game goes.

    Join The Roar for live scores and coverage of this crucial World Cup qualifier, starting from 8pm (AEST).

    Live Score Updates

    Scores updated each minute. REFRESH NOW

    23' YELLOW CARD - Perapat Notechaiya (Thailand)

    38' YELLOW CARD - Bailey Wright (Australia)

    69' GOAL - Tomi Juric (Australia)

    82' GOAL - Pokkhao Anan (Thailand)

    86' GOAL - Mathew Leckie (Australia)

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    The Crowd Says (161)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • Roar Guru

      Cousin Claudio said | 11:15pm | ! Report

      I’m excited by the continuing qualification saga and another 4 games.

      We should beat Syria home and away and I give us a better than 50/50 chance to beat Honduras or USA in the final legs.

      Looking forward to it, even though I think this is the worst Footyroos side ever.
      After all they are representing Oz on the world stage and I’ll always support them, no matter what.

    • Roar Guru

      Alan Kearney said | 11:29pm | ! Report

      Match Report
      Australia 2

      Thailand 1

      Australia come away with the win they need but not by the margin they needed or expecetd to give themselves the best chance of qualification for next years World Cup in Russia. It is now over to Saudi Arabia to see if they can get the win they need to put Australia into the playoffs and secure their spot at footballs showpiece event. It is safe to say that Socceroos supporters will be cheering on Japan for 90 minutes in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

      Tonights game in Melbourne was complete madness and the stats alone point to how 1 sided this contest was for the majority of the game but due to the defensive frailty that Australia show in this back 3 system they still looked dodgy on the rare occasion Thailand counter attacked.

      The game had settled into a pattern early on with Australia dominating possession and Thailand happy to sit back and it was only 6 minutes in when man of the moment Aaron Mooy let fly from the edge of the box with his shot hitting the post and it should of been a sign of things to come. In between Mooy hitting the post and half time the Socceroos would have numerous chances most notably Tim Cahill hitting the post and Juric having a certain goal denied from 6 yards out by heroic defending from the Thai defence.

      The second half started with a bang and Australia can count themselves lucky that Thailand were not awarded a penalty two minutes in when Bailey Wright brought down a player just inside the box but the ref waved play on much to the dismay of the Thai players.

      Tm Cahill was hooked after the hour mark which was strange considering Australia needed goals and looked like it was going to be one of those nights when Tom Rogic bent one with his left foot onto the post with 25 minutes left.

      Tomi Juric wasn’t having the best of nights in front of goal but it was his header that broke the deadlock after 70 minutes when he glanced home from an Aaron Moooy free kick. The feeling at that time was this would be the start of an avalanche of goals to finish the game but it wasn’t to be the case.

      This game was as one sided as you will see but the worrying thing to take note of was that for all their domination the Socceroos where suspect at the back once again. When Thailand broke the Australian players seemed to be scrambling to put out fires and you never felt they had it fully under control and this proved to be the case when Thailand scored with 10 minutes remaining.

      To the Socceroos credit they went again and threw everything at Thailand and got their rewards when Leckie volleyed home with 5 minutes left after another failed punch from the Thai keeper.

      And so that was it. 2-1,45 shots, 2 goals and a sleepless night before the Socceroos know their fate.

      The Thai bus will be in the garage for the foreseeable future, it took an awful battering but held up incredibly. They should be proud.

      Thanks for joining The Roar for tonights Live Blog,hope to see you again soon.



    • Roar Guru

      Rick Disnick said | 10:02pm | ! Report

      A second string Jap side is far superior to the rabble who nearly drew with us tonight.

      It’s more likely we’ll see a draw tomorrow morning than a win from the Saudis.

      • Roar Rookie

        Grobbelaar said | 10:30pm | ! Report

        A little bit unfair on the Thais, they showed a fair bit.

        Odds for the game tomorrow morning:

        Saudi win: 45%
        Draw: 40%
        Japan win: 15%

        So Saudi chances of getting second spot: 55:45.

    • 9:56pm
      me too said | 9:56pm | ! Report

      Just gotta hope the Saudis have similar problems finding the net, for they won’t get near the same number of chances we had tonight.
      What was Ang doing playing two at the back near the end? One more goal for us meant nothing, one more for them meant a lot.

      • Roar Guru

        Rick Disnick said | 10:03pm | ! Report

        Totally agree. The last 4 minutes was id!otic from Ange.

      • 10:12pm
        Nick Symonds said | 10:12pm | ! Report

        I reckon he’s thinking of trying a revolutionary new 2-4-4 formation.

    • Columnist

      Stuart Thomas said | 9:55pm | ! Report

      At this time we all love Japan.

    • Roar Guru

      Alan Kearney said | 9:55pm | ! Report

      Full Time

      and the whistle goes….. well that was a mad game. 39 shots, 74% possession but only 2 will be a nervy night and morning to see how this group pans out.

      Thanks for joining me tonight. I had a bit of a technical issue during that which wasn’t ideal but got through it, I suppose quite similar to the Socceroos.

    • 9:54pm
      Marc said | 9:54pm | ! Report

      Go Nippon !!

    • Roar Guru

      Vas Venkatramani said | 9:53pm | ! Report

      So, it all comes down to Jeddah. With Japan likely to field a second string, I’m expecting the Saudis to win, and force us to the playoffs.

      • 9:58pm
        Matsu said | 9:58pm | ! Report

        This so-called “second string” is better than what the press considers the “first string”. You cant seriously tell me that a guy who starts regularly in La Liga is “second string” vs a guy who just came off 6 months injury and hasnt played for Japan since 2016. Or that Honda and Okazaki are “second string” because they were on the bench against Australia.

        Your press is its own worst enemy.

        • Roar Guru

          Vas Venkatramani said | 10:04pm | ! Report

          When I say second-string Matsu, I’m referring to Japan’s overall game intensity. Now that they’ve qualified, I’m expecting them to play it like a friendly, and ensure all their players come out unscathed without injuries or suspensions. That against a Saudi team who will be roared on by a willing crowd to make their first World Cup in 12 years.

          Japan won’t be easybeats, but the Saudis have it all to play for.

          • 10:10pm
            Matsu said | 10:10pm | ! Report

            I agree about the intensity. The Saudi Prince made a genius move by buying all the tickets and handing them out free. That will guarantee a far more . . . . shall we say . . . Vocal crowd than what it would be if only paying fans were attending.

            But this is hardly a “meaningless” game for many of the Samurai Blue players. Honda and Okazaki, in particular, could find themselves dropped altogether if they decide to just “phone it in” tonight.Sure, anything can happen in the Middle East heat (like the team bus failing to show up). But Ill be surprised if Saudi even manage a draw.

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